Magee Marsh Wildlife Area

Very birdy.

That’s perhaps the only way to describe Magee Marsh in spring migration. I picked up two lifers, Bay-breasted Warbler (Dendroica castanea) and Tennesssee Warbler (Oreothlypis peregrina)—perhaps the only two that I will find this trip.

very popularMany eyes and ears make for easy spotting, but the bouncy boardwalk and throngs of birders make birding here a little like trying to get a seat on a Red Line train at 8:30 in the morning.

quieterThe lakefront, on the other side of the huge parking lot from the boardwalk, is much more my style.

I watched Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) picking insects off the ground to carry back to the nest. I saw multiple Yellow Warblers (D. petechia): if the sight of a bright Yellow Warbler doesn’t give you a little jolt of joy, you don’t really like birds. An iridescent Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) foraged in the wet leaf litter (dishwasher downpours of rain yesterday), tossing leaves aside and cocking its gimlet-eyed head like a cop looking for your dope stash.

mascotIn the afternoon, I went to a slide-show workshop by Kenn Kaufman on flycatcher ID. The talk was held at the visitor center of Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, and who should be there in the lobby to greet me but Puddles the Blue Goose!